Reusing A Little Fun

Since we decided to no longer do the garage for Halloween and last year was a huge no go because of Covid, all of my decorations sat unused last year. What I had been using in the garage doesn’t translate all that well to general decorating and all the other pieces I used to put out are mostly old, faded, and not in all that great of shape.

I also wasn’t much in the mood to spend hours putting up a bunch of stuff I wasn’t all that jazzed about. I told the kids to go though stuff and do what they wanted with it. Considering MCG is huge on that kind of thing, I thought they’d have a blast with it. Apparently not as I still really don’t have anything up.

In an effort to kick start something, I started pulling everything out to see what I did still like and try and do something with it. We are still on the fence of even trying to open the door to trick-or-treaters this year. We got so few the last year I did the garage, it really doesn’t seem worth it, so I’m not putting a whole lot of effort into it all.

As I started pulling stuff out, a few things sparked an idea. I had SO much stuff I’d never really use as it was, but would be perfect if I put them together into a wreath for my front door.

I love the idea of wreaths, but have hesitated just because they would take up so much space to store and I really didn’t want to have to find more space for more stuff. Making one with all the stuff I already had on hand, seemed like a perfect idea. It didn’t bring in a bunch of new stuff I had to find room for later and it kept me from having to either toss it or donate it.

Halloween Wreath
Halloween Wreath

For a quick and dirty toss together project, it works. Mostly. Since we have a glass storm door, it gets a little squashed, but maybe that will keep it from falling off as I just have it on a sticky hook for now. There are tons of things I would have done differently if I’d made this with all new things, so the final look isn’t quite what I’d typically go with, but I still like it.

I think I might have to do something similar come Christmas as I have WAY too many things that never see the light of day that would make a really fun wreath, though I might need a better base frame that what this one has. I either have to figure out a way to build one, or cave and get one, which I’d rather not do. Still, it will be fun to try.

And yes, I got to play in my new room while I worked on this. It is officially christened with a crap ton of glitter thanks to that white ribbon. Glitter that I may now never see the end of.

Craft Room Project: The End Result – Before And After

I’m calling it.

My room is done.


It only took me just over a year, but it is done!

Where it started:

Craft Room: Before
Craft Room: Before

The Plan:

Craft Room: Original Design Layout
Craft Room: Original Design Layout

The Final Result:

Craft Room: Final Result
Craft Room: Final Result
Craft Room: Final Result
Craft Room: Final Result

This has been one hell of a journey and an epically ambitious project, but I pulled it all off. I’ll say it until everyone is sick of hearing it, but I absolutely adore every single square inch of this space, imperfections and all.

I cannot believe it is finally done after all this time.

I still can’t believe that I did this myself. With what little experience I had before I started this project, I’m absolutely floored that I managed to accomplish it and in such a way that it doesn’t completely look like an amateur did it. Sure, there are all kinds of imperfections and little mistakes, but nothing huge or glaringly obvious.

I can also say, without reservation, NEVER again!

Small pieces that use some of my newfound knowledge and skills, sure. But a project this size? Oh, hell no!

Of course, I still have those connected side projects like building out my closet and refinishing the dresser, but my room is complete. I can finally unpack all the stuff from my desk that Hubby took over and do all the final move in and organizing that needs to be done. I can use the space in its entirety, as it was designed to be used.

And, I can focus on all kinds of other things that have been hanging out on my to do list for a year or so now. Many of them in my new room.

Now, where is that bottle of wine? I need to celebrate.

Craft Room Project: Final Steps

I got the final door hung yesterday. The reaction I got when I showed BG and then Hubby after they got home yesterday was hilarious and also why I am not currently posting new photos of the progress.

Each one of them, on their own, walked into the room, looked around, and then asked what they were looking at. Because the change was so small it was hardly noticeable. This one, because the door I hung was the clear front door and the overall difference in the room was extremely subtle.

I realized a while ago that each of these pieces I finish off feel huge to me as they are somewhat large milestones in these final steps to finishing the space, but when looked at from the whole perspective are really kind of small. The difference between how the room looked after I put the trim up on the cabinets and how it looked after I did some caulking, filling and touch ups was almost impossible to really see. It looked cleaner and more finished, but it was still so small of a difference that you only really noticed if you were looking for all the imperfections in the first place and then saw that they were no longer there after the next piece.

The doors really did change the look of the space, so that step has been very obvious. I could show that, but I decided that I’d rather wait and do a final “finished product” reveal when it is all done.

It does make me laugh at how I can do one really small thing, like paint the outlet cover I had to make and get that put back on the wall, but it feels huge to me in how it impacts the space. Like I’ll see a spot on the wall that maybe has a little bleed through in the paint that needs touched up. I look at it afterwards and think the room looks a thousand times better just for that one thing. When I hung that clear front door yesterday, I was all “Oooh! That just looks so amazing!” and then Hubby and BG come down and look absolutely lost because they don’t even see it. It makes me feel a little better about not posting any more progress photos right now.

Today I’m starting on the final pieces in the room, the drawer fronts. I have a little more math I need to work out before I can start the last cuts, but this should be the final sprint.

Craft Room Project: 1 Year Mark

The other day I had a memory pop up in my FB feed. It was from the day I had posted a photo of when I bought my counter tops for my room. From a year ago.

Never in my wildest imagination did I anticipate that a year later I’d still be working on this, that I still wouldn’t be done. I honestly figured I’d be able to probably get it done in a month or two. Maybe. Considering I’d never done anything at all like this, I had zero reference to get that estimate. Obviously I had extremely lofty goals and didn’t know what the hell I was talking about.

Lately, it has been slow going. Like, sleepy snail levels of slow. The garage, where I’ve had to move to finish the last pieces, is STILL insanely hot right now, making it miserable to work for any length of time. Between that and struggling to get up the motivation to get out into the heat and move everything around just so I can work for an hour or two only to move it all back so we can get the cars in, it has been hard to get out there and get much done. But, I’m getting there.

I hung all but the final door yesterday. That last door, the “glass” fronted one, is now glued and drying waiting on its turn to be hung. All that is left is to build the drawer fronts. I should be (as if should has actually gotten me anywhere in this whole process) done in the next week or two. At least with the bulk of the main room, which I’m using as my “done” point.

I still have a whole lot of side projects that are connected to my room, which I’m really thinking as more of a full studio rather than just a “craft room” because there are SO many things that are art-centric that I’m doing in there. I still have to design and build out the closet space, which is currently packed to almost bursting with things that still need to put away in the space and is waiting for me to finish before I can tackle that. I still have to paint the dresser that is in the room. I have a whole lot of boxes I want to build to go on some of those open shelves and in the cabinets. There are a whole host of things that need to be done in the adjoining room, but that is for much farther in the future.

None of those other things are anywhere near the top of my priority list right now. My target is to finish the main part of the room and then take a massive break. One where I can focus on doing some different creative things for a while. Or, you know, just do NOTHING for a while.

Yeah, that is sounding really nice right about now.

Going With The Flow

I’ve been quiet on here lately. Mostly because I really haven’t had much to say, but also because my brain is in a weird place.

I’m having a lot of really good moments I want to squee about and not so good ones I want to whine about. When I think about coming here and posting, I manage to talk myself out of it for one reason or another. Instead, I’ll just focus on working on my doors when I can (it is stupidly hot in the garage and I can only get in an hour or two of work at a time) or I bury my nose in a book and get lost in a story all while doing a lot of navel gazing on the side.

I feel like I’m on the edge of a major shift in my life right now. Yes, a lot of that is because my youngest, BG, is going through her senior year. Some of it is because of how different things are now that MCG is here and some of the emotions that is dredging up with those changes. There are also the signs that I’m physically shifting into a different phase as well (yay being female, NOT).

Maybe it’s because there is just so much, I can’t separate it out into post sized pieces or decide which piece to focus on when there are so many. I’m just not finding many words lately. For now, I’m going to sit back and see where this part of the ride takes me and hopefully I’ll find my words again along the way.

Switching It Up

I have, yet again, moved my work area to a new location.

After putting in the last transition piece for the flooring, I am no longer really able to keep working in the basement when it comes to building. That means moving all the rest of my tools out of the area.

This is both an awesome thing and a kind of crappy thing.

The awesome part is that the mess is pretty much done in the basement. I won’t have any more sawdust to clean up down there and I don’t have to worry about it spreading to every single nook and cranny, of which I now have WAY too many. All the tools being out of the space allowed me to do some much needed cleaning and I was able to put the new cover on the couch so that it no longer looks like hell because of the cats. Granted, it still has to be covered in a drop cloth when not in use because of those same cats, but it is usable again.

The crappy part? It’s SO hot in the garage!

Yes, we are quickly approaching fall, but this year, we have stayed warmer for much longer than we’ve had the last several years. And the garage acts like a furnace on most days. This limits the amount of time I can work because there is only so much of that heat I can tolerate.

Still, I’m thrilled that the mess is now confined to the one space in the house that can really handle that kind of mess without being a massive pain. It may take me a little longer to finish than I’d hoped, but that seems to be in line with every single other bit of this project.

I have one of the 6 doors built and ready to paint (pretty sure I said 5 before, but I apparently can’t count) and another one is ready to be built, but I realized that one needs to be painted first because it has a clear plexiglass front. I still have all the pieces to cut for the remaining 4.

The drawer front panels have been glued and are ready to cut and trim out. I got my custom electrical cover cut, shaped and fitted the other day, so it is ready for paint and to be installed.

These should be the final pieces to finish off the main part of the room. I still have a few side projects that are part of this overall project, like the closet and refinishing the dresser, but those I am putting aside as later projects so that I can focus on doing something different creatively for a while after I finish this first part.

Slowly but surely, I’m chipping away at my final to do list.

Brief Project Break

The office swap and repaint is done.

I’m exhausted.

I started the whole thing on Saturday and just finished putting the last things away last night. That is a whole lot of painting and moving of furniture and shampooing of carpets in that time. I’m going to take a small break today and be lazy before I head back down to my room to try and finally finish that one off.

I would really, really like to be done with all of these huge projects for a while. It feels like I will have remodeled or repainted my entire house by the time I’m done with it all.

That said, the rooms look stunning (sorry, no photos this time). Hubby is thrilled with his new office space and my new den (still haven’t fully decided what to call that room) is absolutely wonderful. Considering the kids are starting to wander down to play video games on the TV in the living room now that MCG is in the room where the games used to live, I’m definitely going to need the quiet space to be able to go read.

Today, I’m going  to sit in the quiet of the house as it is the last day for a while that no one else is home and just be an absolute slug. And keep my fingers cross that my stupid brain doesn’t decide to use that time to come up with any other brilliant ideas.

Yet Another Side Project

I think it is becoming glaringly apparent that I’m am utterly incapable of doing a project from start to finish without getting pulled off on a side project, because here I am, starting yet another project instead of finishing off my room.

This latest side project is a huge office swap that also includes getting the carpet shampooed in one room and the walls in both rooms painted.

These rooms have been tossed around between Hubby and I over the years. One room was originally just a general “the office” but was mostly Hubby’s. The other was our dining room that is too poorly designed to actually function as a dining room. After a while, the dining room became my craft room, but I hated that the mess and disorganization of that space was always front and center when you walked through the front door. Hubby felt a little crammed in the office as it is on the small side and is the worst place in the house for being cold in the winter and hot in the summer. So, we swapped rooms.

The smaller room didn’t end up working for me as a craft room, so that’s when we moved the craft space (mostly my jewelry bench and supplies) to the unfinished basement, but left the room as my office. It is the room I wrote my book in and was such a perfect space for me, at least for an office kind of room and felt absolutely cozy, but I still had to go to the dank basement to do anything not on my computer.

Above photos are from when the office space was first mine.

Then Covid hit and Hubby needed to work from home.

Because the dining room space he took over was never intended as an office, there is no door. There was no way he’d be able to do any of his meetings in there and have any kind of privacy or quiet, so he shifted his work stuff into my office (he stole it back, so this is really ALL his fault! lol!) and kept his personal computer and office things in the dining room.

Of course, him taking over my room is a huge part of what prompted me to build my craft room in the basement. Especially after we found out that the work from home part was going to be a semi-permanent hybrid kind of thing.

When I got about half way through working on my room, we started talking about rearranging things between the two rooms. There were still all kinds of things in the office he took over that were still mine and I needed in there often and had to wait if he was in a meeting. He is often between the two rooms for various reasons, so we just decided to move him back in and rearrange things in a way that will work better all the way around.

Part of why that room was so crowded before was because it was still considered something of a joint office space and I had some of my bookcases in there. The dog’s crate was kept in there as well, which wasn’t small. Between those, Hubby’s computer cabinet, a big roll top desk, and a good size file cabinet, there wasn’t much space to move.

Now, we are moving all my bookcases into the “dining” room and turning it into a library/den/sitting room (we can’t agree what to call it, though media library is the most accurate as it will have books, movies, music and all the kids video games store in there). Taking those out of the equation of what has to go into Hubby’s office makes it so much easier to give him some room. That and he won’t have my bookcases and all my junk as his meeting background anymore.

His room is going to get painted as I never wanted to deal with that in all the other moves and those walls desperately need it. That carpet is also going to get shampooed because that was the dog’s favorite room and she loved to come crawl under the roll top after she’d be outside and had dirty wet feet, so I have a seriously ugly stain that needs to get cleaned (though I’m pretty sure I attempted that before and it didn’t even lighten, but I’m going to try).

I’m also going to repaint the other room as those walls are in just as bad a shape after having been my craft room. Doing the jewelry and silver work is shockingly messy and the walls are evidence of that.

A huge reason why I’m doing this now is that my Hubby is on a hybrid work from home schedule where he has to be in the office for 4 days every so many weeks or so. This coming week will be when he isn’t home, so I need to get this done now or wait for an extended period again. Considering I’ve started pulling things out of that room already that need to go in my new room, I figured I might as well just get it all the way done so he doesn’t feel like he is living in limbo.

Doing all of that means that I have to completely empty out each room, one at a time. My house is now completely upended. Again. Everything from the office is now spread out in every open space in my kitchen, living room and dining room. Talk about crowded!

It will take a couple of days to get the first room done and then my hands are tied until Hubby can help me move things back in before I can start on the next. By the time these two rooms are done, it’s going to feel like my entire house has gotten a makeover.

Craft Room Project: Drawers Installed

I was so incredibly intimidated by these drawers. Especially after the epic failure of my attempt at the kiln shelf. I was so worried I’d run into similar issues with something not being square and off enough that I just couldn’t make any of it work.

Finished and Installed Drawer Boxes
Finished and Installed Drawer Boxes

The first one was a bit of a pain, but I figured it all out and it worked exactly the way it was supposed to. Once that one was in, the top two went in so easily. Now that they are in and done, I kind of wish I’d done more in other areas, but I’m also really glad I didn’t.

I still have to build and attach the faces, but I’m not nearly as intimidated by that as I was putting these on the rails. These really need some sanding and maybe some sort of inner finish instead of just the bare wood as well, but I couldn’t help but try out the inserts I got for each drawer just to make sure they will work.

Drawer Inserts
Drawer Inserts

My original plan was to build the organization into the drawers themselves, similar to the divider I have in the bottom one, but I just couldn’t bring myself to make them that complicated when I could just get something that would work just as well for a whole lot less headache. I could not be happier that I made that choice!

I thought that I’d probably like one of the two top inserts better than the other, but I really love them both. The drawers will be used for different things, so being able to organize each one differently really works. They both completely fill their drawers. Even though you can’t see it in the above photo, those amazing organizers goes all the way to the back of these REALLY deep drawers, which shocked me when I tested it out the first time.

Next up is to work on building and attaching those drawer faces and to finally work on getting those last 5 doors built and hung.

Last First Day

Today is one of those life milestones that you can’t decide to be happy about or cry about, but always feels like a mess of both.

It is BG’s first day of her senior year.

Her last first day of school.

It is even harder because she is my baby. The last one to do this. You’d think it would be easier the 3rd time around, but it so isn’t.

It is already hard, but toss in the fact that she is also in person for the first time in a year and a half and the fact that doing online isn’t even a choice this year even though kids are being way more impacted by Delta than the first time around and it is also really stressful to see her drive off.

None of that stress is relieved by the fact that even though it is her first day of school, her schedule is still a ridiculous mess because our district cannot manage to actually figure out a decent process to get these kids in the classes they asked for without them having to jump through a million hoops and going round in circles with the counselors. They have two days of basically BS assemblies and activities before actual classes start, so she still has a tiny cushion, but there is every possibility that she will not get it smoothed out until much later in the week.

Senior year is always a big deal. BG has watched how chaotic and so far from normal for it has been for the last two years of seniors and she really wants this one to be normal, but it most likely isn’t going to be.

She also has a challenging year of classes ahead of her if she can end up with all the classes she asked for. Even though she had a hellacious time in calculus last year, her summer going over it one on one with her teacher convinced her to take the second one. That alone will be extremely hard, but she has a couple of other college level classes she is taking as well.

I’m so proud of her for not letting the rough patch trip her up. I’m proud of her for getting back into it and reaching for more. With school and all she will be doing with dance this year, it is going to be her hardest one yet. I know she is more than capable. I still worry. That’s kind of my job.

Yes, she will still get that first day of college, but that is different. The end of high school is the end of an entire, huge phase of her life, so having her go off today for her last first day is full of joy and sadness and worry and pride.

Today I’ll be hiding out in my room, working on my drawers and trying to just let the day wash over me.

Craft Room Project: Getting To Play A Bit

I took a couple of days to shift my focus in my new space to doing a little decorating. From the time this project started, I had been tossing around different ideas and plans for what I wanted on the walls that weren’t going to have cabinets on them. I’d been itching to get those done the second the walls were completely painted, but just couldn’t work in the time until now.

Let me tell you, it was WAY harder to pick which photos I wanted to print and hang on the walls. There are so many I’ve taken over the years that I love that it was extremely hard to narrow it down. And when I say narrow down, I still printed over a dozen to put in frames.

I was a little surprised at a few of the ones I chose to print, though. I’ve definitely had some favorites over the years, so some were obvious choices. Some of the others? Not so obvious.

The one above is kind of a surprise. It was when I took it and how much I liked it because, in general, it isn’t a great photo. It is actually a bit of a mistake as I had all my settings wrong on my camera. It is over exposed and slightly out of focus, but those are the things that give it such an interesting feel. I’m actually a little lucky I was able to hang it on the wall at all because BG kept threatening to steal it as it is one of her favorites. Again, surprising because of what it is.

The stairs going to the basement are now lined in photos and the wall where I’m putting the dresser that still needs to be finished has both photos and a painting I did hanging on it.

My plan is to hang a few more of my pieces on a couple of other walls, but I ran out of what I needed to get those hung up. I also have a couple of smaller frames that will sit on my shelves in the corner that I plan to put photos of the kids when I can get around to printing more.

Having all these walls covered in my photos and art has brought my space another huge step towards being completely finished. It now feels so warm and cozy. The stair area looks so much more inviting now as well.

I’d like to get or build a little table for the landing at some point to finish that space off, but that is a much later future project. One that I may be lucky to get to, especially if I can’t figure out why my table saw is suddenly not cutting right. *sigh*

I’m now, finally, working on building my drawers. It would be absolutely amazing if that process went smoothly, but, you know me and my superpower. That probably won’t happen.

At least I can be frustrated in a gorgeous space!


I Knew, But…

I was wary of putting any piece of finishing off my room on hold, knowing it might be hard to get back the motivation and drive to finish, but I thought I’d still be able to pull it off. It is proving WAY harder than I anticipated.

It probably doesn’t help that I have so many things I still need and want to do that aren’t yet another endless piece to working on my room. It also doesn’t help that one of the things that needs to get finished off are these stupid transition pieces on the floor and they are proving to be just as big of a pain in the ass as almost every other single thing I’ve done in the space.

When I went to attach my first one I realized that it doesn’t actually work well with our floor as our floor is too tall. I never expected that. Because of that, it doesn’t snap into the piece that you bolt to the floor. I’m now having to try and get creative and find another way to make it work. I’m definitely going to have a love hate relationship with this flooring by the time it is all said and done.

I did manage to get the final wonky floor piece cut and installed. It was in a weird place around a door frame. The first one I did was off and I ended up with a small gap in an awkward place that wouldn’t get covered by trim, so I had to do it differently. I’d put it off and avoided it like crazy, but I couldn’t avoid it as it had to be done before the transitions. Shockingly, it went in pretty easily. Maybe it was all the rest of the flooring mess I had to deal with since I first attempted that piece that made it easier?

I didn’t do much more today than figure out the transitions were going to be a nightmare and cut that final floor piece. I just didn’t have the energy or motivation to start anything else. I really do need to finish those transitions before I can finish my doors and drawers because I need to move all the rest of my tools up to the garage for that and I can’t do that until those pieces are in.

Hopefully, I’m just in a mood today and tomorrow will be better.

Checking Off That To Do List

The last several days have been hectic. There have been so many different things I’ve been dealing with or trying to get done, it has been a kind of musical chairs of tasks and trying to shift everything in a way to actually get any of it done.

My room is completely finished except for the last 5 doors and building the drawers. I’ve spent the last several days working on another project with a deadline, but I’ve done it in that space. Can I tell you how utterly blissful it is to actually work in there now? I have almost everything moved in and put where I want it outside of what will need to go in the closet (I’m counting that as a separate project from the room itself as it still needs to be finished out with shelves).

Just being able to work and find what I needed in a place I knew it was without having to dig through bins to find it or shuffle things all over the place because there wasn’t room for everything was the most wonderful feeling. I have a feeling I’m going to be living in my new room for the foreseeable future. I won’t be posting more photos until I have it entirely done, doors and drawers and all, but it is everything I’d hoped for and more.

That project I’ve been working on is making another massive pile of masks. BG will be needing a bunch since she will be in person at school this year (which is a whole other rant/post as online isn’t even being discussed as an option right now even though the situation is more dire for the younger group now than it was a year ago) and she will be at her dance studio for at least a couple more days a week this year. I also wanted to get another one or two for myself and one to give to MCG with the school logo on it like I did for MC since she will be doing student ambassador things as part of her scholarship. In all I’ve made another 36 masks. It took me several days, but that was me having to work around all the other things that needed to get done.

My new stove finally got delivered yesterday. After all the craziness and headaches and complications, it was a ridiculously easy and problem free event. It showed up in perfect condition. No dents. No issues with hooking it up. No issues hauling off the old one. The damn thing works. And it looks really nice. It was such a relief to finally have that stress over and done with.

Now, I just have to relearn how to cook. It may seem like a joke, but it also kind of isn’t. An electric cook top is different than gas in several ways and I have to learn how to make adjustments in how I cook to work with those differences. I also have to learn the temperature settings for each burner. Not only are they different than gas, but they are different than any other electric I’ve used in the past (well over 17 years ago).

Then I have to get used to the new oven. Each oven cooks a little differently. Most are close enough that it doesn’t really matter, but everyone that spends any time cooking at all learns the little quirks of how their ovens work and how to cook to make use of those quirks. I have no clue what kinds of quirks I’m going to run into. AND I have to learn it for 2 because this is a double oven (which I cannot wait to play around with when I need to bake a cake or do huge batches of cookies or thanksgiving dinner!!) and each one is most likely going to be just a little different. I did see in my owner’s manual that there is the ability to tweak your oven temp settings if you think it cooks “too hot” or “a little cool” so you can fit it a bit better to what you are used to, which was really interesting to discover.

Just having that done has been such a weight off. I’m so done with all the BS that went with this. I’ll  take the learning curve and a few slightly overdone, crispy fried eggs until I can get it all figured out, even if it kind of sucks to feel like I can’t cook well right now.

Yesterday, I also started my massive senior photo project for BG. She very much loved how I did things with MC, where I did several shoots throughout the year. She really likes the idea of having a bunch of seasonal photos as part of her final package, so we will be doing a lot of both casual outdoor shots and nicer, studio style shots. We did an initial round of studio style shots yesterday, getting us off to a very good start. So much so, I’m worried about having enough space for them all on my computer by the time it is done.

While I had my backdrop and lighting set up, I offered to do a shoot with MC and MCG. They never got their prom because of Covid, which means they never got prom photos. Hell, with they way they met and how their relationship has progressed, they’ve only really had one kind of crappy snapshot of them together at all. So, they both got all prettied up in their prom finery and we did some really fun shots of them. Finally!

I still have to go through all the photos from both shoots and do some editing, but I think I got quite a few really good ones. It was awesome to get those checked off my list.

This week kicks off back to school for MC and MCG. Things are going to get simultaneously really busy, but also really quiet at the same time. It’s only another week and BG will be off as well. It is all going to be so strange. I’ve had BG home for a year and a half and MC was mostly home for that same year and a half. There are even going to be weeks when Hubby has to go work in the office again and those days are going to be complete silence around here.

I guess it’s good in a way that even though I’ve checked so much off that to do list that the list is still massive and I’m going to have plenty of things to keep me occupied.

My Superpower

I’m pretty sure after the last several months that my super power is being able to get into unique, problematic, complicated, and convoluted situations when things really should be simple and straight forward. I’d much rather have my husband’s superpower of being able to fall asleep at the drop of a hat.

My lovely stove situation? You knew I couldn’t possibly be done, right?

Our electrician comes out today to unhook our old stove and connect that wire into an outlet so we can plug in our new stove. He asked about the specs of the new stove, just to make sure he installs the correct outlet set up. I pull up the specs from the vendor’s website and lo and behold! The stove I picked out? It’s not standard!!

Even weirder? It has an amp rating that our guy had never seen in a stove and would require a whole new wire and breaker. Even then, he wasn’t certain that there was an outlet that would work with that amp level. The norm for most stoves is 40. 50 isn’t unheard of, but not exactly common. This one? Over 60.

In talking with the guy, he said that if it actually ran at that, when you ran all the different parts of your stove at the same time, you’d probably start tripping your breaker.

No where in any of the reviews I read did I run across tripping breakers or issues with electrical or hook up as a problem. When we bought our unit, the salesperson only talked about the different types of hook up we might have and the type of cord needed to make it work with those hook ups, none of which were outside of any kind of a normal range.

We spent a lot of time discussing options and different scenarios. This guy was absolutely floored by the situation as he’d never seen anything like it (shockingly, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard those words from someone’s mouth that was here to do work on some thing or another) even though he’s been doing this kind of thing for years.

I even got on the phone with the vendor and they pulled up the owner’s manual to see if there was anything in there that indicated we needed to do something as extensive as it was looking like we needed to do to get this to work. Everything pointed to standard cords and outlets. She even said that they’d never heard of any issues and didn’t know about this needing something specific for hook up even though the amps were clearly stated on the specs page on their website.

We finally settled on just installing an outlet on our current line, getting the new stove delivered and keeping our fingers crossed. With as many reviews as I’ve combed through and the experience of the salesperson (this is not a brand new model and has been out for several years) with all the sales of this unit, it is apparently not a major problem or it would have come up somewhere.

Our electrician had to run out and get the box he needed to convert this to an outlet. He came back and got it all fixed for us in no time after more than an hour of just trying to figure out what we needed to do. He, completely on his own without any prompting at all, also grabbed the necessary cord to turn our existing stove to a plug instead of a hardwire so we could at least use the oven until the new stove gets here on Sunday. And he didn’t charge us to do it.

I was absolutely blown away. We’d never worked with this company before and didn’t know what to expect on service, but they could get to us in a reasonable amount of time, so we crossed our fingers and hoped they’d at least be decent. They are SO much better that just decent.

While this was yet another totally messed up day in a long string of totally messed up days. This guy brightened it considerably. And earned all future business and a totally loyal customer because he was awesome. We have a few things we still need done in the basement, so that isn’t just a sparkly comment without substance.

I’m also extremely impressed with how well our salesperson has handled all of this and helped out. So, even in this chaos there are some silver linings.

As of right now, I have a working oven to get me through until Sunday when the new stove is supposed to be delivered.

But… I’m so disappointed in my superpower. I could have really used the sleep one. Or one that allowed me to snap my fingers and have my house be clean instantly. No. I had to get the power to find unique chaos in the most basic situations.

404 Error: Brain Cannot Be Found

With this stove debacle going on, I’ve had to really try and get creative on meals since I don’t want to eat out for days on end. We spent dinner last night (frozen pizza, which is another I don’t want to live on for days) discussing meal options for the next several days, which is extremely complicated when I only have access to an oven and not a cook top.

Do you have any idea how much you use your stove top without really thinking about it?

After lots of discussions and twisting our brains as we realize that meal after meal still has some part that has to be prepped on the stove, we come up with a few to get us through. Hubby goes to the store so we have what we need to make it happen.

We are set, at least for a bit.

When I went to ask about which of those things we want for dinner I was smacked upside the head with how utterly brainless I actually am.

One of the meals I’d planned still required me to use my stove top, which no longer works now that the gas is disconnected. I’m not aware of any way to boil eggs without it, so that meal is out.

Then with a sinking feeling and wanting to crawl back into bed and not get out until I have a working stove again, I realized that every single one of those meals I planned requires use of the oven. The oven that will, barring any more surprises, be disconnected tomorrow.

Why was I just thinking about needing to get by until we could reschedule delivery of the new stove? Apparently I’m not the only one that this little fact slipped past the logic processing section of their brain because no one else caught it either.

If everything goes well, which, really, we know has about the same odds of me winning the lottery, we should be able to schedule delivery for Friday. Saturday at the latest. So, it won’t be too many eating out nights, but more than I’d hoped we’d have to do.

But that is if everything goes smoothly. Ha! Right.

And There’s The Other Shoe

This whole thing really is hitting that “laugh or cry” button something fierce.

We had our plumber out to cap our gas line today. They were awesome. In and out, no problem.


They pulled out the stove and we discovered that we are hardwired in. This is a no go for the delivery guys. We now have to hire an electrician to turn that wire into an outlet.

That noise is the sound of my brains splattering on the wall after smashing my head into it one too many times.

Summer Sunset

I actually took a moment to grab my camera the other day. It’s kind of sad that doing so is on the rare side for me right now. I am SO close to being done with my room, which I hope means I’ll get back into some kind of a normal routine, but I’m just not sure that is going to happen soon. The to do list that has blown completely out of proportion as I’ve worked on this project is also looming.

It is my goal to try and take a little bit of time back for my camera when the room is done, though. Now to see if I can actually pull that off.

I Will Never Understand

For the last several months, on top of me building my room and getting ready for MCG, I’ve been dealing with attempting to get a new stove. I say attempting, because, like everything I try to do it seems, it has been a bit of a cluster.

I currently have a dual fuel range that is a gas cook top with an electric oven. When we built our house and picked out our appliances, this was kind of my dream stove. I love cooking with gas, but hate it with a passion when it comes to baking, so finding a range that offered both was an amazing thing to discover (I never knew it was even a thing).

Sadly, the grates on my stove top have had some problems and are now entering into what I feel is unsafe territory. I tried to find them to order new, but they are no longer made and simply don’t exist. My options were to keep using what I had and hope that what may be unsafe doesn’t ever cause a disaster, or I get an entirely new range. Also sadly, what was a reasonable price at the time we built, is SO not reasonable now.

After doing a lot of research and talking with Hubby, we initially decided to switch to all electric. Both because of cost and because it is better for the environment (which made BG extremely happy). More research on specific models and retailers, we pick one we think we want and go try and get it.

Turns out, if you aren’t replacing a gas connected stove with another gas connected stove, no retailer’s installers want to touch it. Even though they have gas installers, they won’t schedule them with an electric stove delivery. We’d have to do a whole lot of juggling with our own plumber and installers and all kinds of mess just to get everything switched over. It seemed like way more headache and cost than it was worth.

Back to the drawing board, we again discuss options and just decide to go with what we already have, since it is still technically what I love, though way more than we really wanted to pay. Again, back to the store to purchase.

We opted for Lowes because they had it on sale and they said they could do the install. We double, triple and quadruple checked that we could get what we wanted, though we had to wait because it needed to be ordered, get it installed, and get our old one hauled off before we purchased. The wait was nearly 2 months and we were warned that even though they put in an appointment for an install date, that was just a place holder. We were instructed to ignore any installation reminders until we got a call from the store saying our stove was in and maybe call a week before to check on progress.

I called the week before and things looked to be on schedule, but the date listed wasn’t an “appliance delivery” day of the week and it wouldn’t actually be at the store until the following week. I was told we would be called when it came in with the new installation time.

So when that “place holder” day came and we starting getting the automated reminders of our appointment, we did as we were told and ignored them because we still hadn’t heard from the store. Well, we ended up with a Lowes truck pulled up to our driveway while I was in the middle of cooking dinner. A truck carrying our new stove.

I scramble to get things off the stove, clear out my pans from the drawer on the bottom and run out to talk to the guy. Turns out, he can’t actually install it. Why you ask? Because it is gas and he isn’t licensed. It also meant no unhooking the old and hauling it a way. We weren’t taking a chance that they would just drop this stove off and not come back and do the rest, so we denied the delivery and called the store.

Turns out the guy that sold us our stove in the first place no longer worked there, shocker! He also didn’t charge an installation fee, so that, apparently is why it wasn’t scheduled with an installer and only as a delivery. We paid that fee and rescheduled delivery. Again, conforming that it would be installed by someone that could work with the gas.

And here is a fun side note. Lowes contracts with a third party to do all of the deliveries and installations. That third party? Has absolutely atrocious reviews and ratings. Some of them seem utterly unbelievable when you read them. Stories like someone ordering something that needed to be installed on a second floor of the home, but the delivery guy said it couldn’t be done because? His arms were too short. I shit you not. That was a legit review. That and SO many that said they never showed up in the delivery time window, called and said they were there to deliver and the person had 15 minutes to show or they’d leave and the person showing up 5 minutes later and they were already gone (this being the delivery showing up well outside of their scheduled window mind you), and others where they simply NEVER showed up at all. This is a company that has an average rating of about 1.5 stars with hundreds of reviews, they are that consistently bad.

Of course, we had zero clue about any of this when we bought and had to find out after there were already problems. I spent an awful lot of time on the phone with a guy at our local store, who was amazing by the way, and not a single person that had to deal with this company was happy about it at all, but corporate still wanted to use them, so they were stuck dealing with pissed off customers. It is an attitude that I will never, ever understand. Why in the hell would a company the size of Lowes continue to work with a company that makes them look so horrifically bad and continues to piss off customers so consistently?!

Needless to say, I was excessively concerned by this point. Even with the assurances, I wasn’t so certain I could trust that the hook up would be done correctly or safely. We were scheduled for redelivery and installation yesterday. We were give a 4 hour window in the morning. They didn’t make it. I called the store and they had to jump through hoops just to try and find out where the driver was because they didn’t have a direct number for the driver and had to go through that third party’s corporate office to get any status at all.

While I was waiting to hear back from the store, I got called by the third party company to say that the delivery was running behind and I was given a new 2 hour window. I double checked with that person to yet again confirm that the person delivering was licensed to install gas and was, again, assured that they were.

Bet you can’t believe they didn’t make the second window? Oh, they so missed it! Hubby and I were at the point where we were ready to just say screw it and just have them leave the stove. I’d already called our plumber to get a cost to have them do the hook up and find out if they would do the haul off for us. This had been such a hassle, I wasn’t going to deal with it anymore. I just wanted it all done, however we needed to make that happen.

While I was on the phone with the guy at the store that was helping us, Hubby got a call from the driver saying he was 10 minutes out. Oh, and by the way! I am not licensed to install gas.

That sound you hear is me smashing my head into the wall. Repeatedly.

The poor guy I was talking to had to hear me break down in hysterical laughter at that point. It was that or bawling out my frustration. A big part of my reaction was because I recognized the voice on the phone with Hubby. It is the same guy that tried to deliver our stove the last time that gave us the exact same spiel the previous week.

Fine. It’s fine. We will just get the damn stove and get this mess over with. They show up about 45 minutes later (love that 10 minutes really, really isn’t) to deliver. I have them unbox it before it’s off the truck because the first thing I see is a big gouge in the box.

Yup. That stove has a massive dent in the back. You know, where all the really critical electrical and gas lines are? Big ole dent. One that prevented a small cover over some critical thing on the back from closing properly. It looks like someone stabbed the box with the tip of the fork lift prong.

Needless to say, I do not have a new stove. And we won’t be getting another one from Lowes. They guys at the store were great, but I will not put up with that BS from their third party contractor.

That nightmare put us back to square one. I really, really don’t want to deal with the headache of the gas issue ever again. With the way every single new thing on the market is absolutely loaded down with electronics, I don’t trust that the new appliances will last nearly as long as the old ones will and this was awful.

So I’m back at the original plan, with some modifications. We are going with all electric. We have to have our plumber come out and cap our gas line before a new stove can be delivered. That means we will be without the cook top, but can still use the oven since it is electric, until the new one is installed. The plan is to schedule the disconnect the day before delivery and hope like hell that there are no problems with the new range what would cause us to have to reject delivery.

You know, do all those things that I sought to avoid by just going with the same type of stove I already had.

We have been assured by the new retailer that they inspect things at the warehouse before it is loaded on the truck to make sure there is no damage, but that will happen the morning of and our old stove will be unhooked by then. They did say that if the issue is cosmetic, they may deliver anyway and allow us to use it as a temporary until a new one can come in. If there are problems, it is quite possible that I will be sans stove until October, though, as they only have the one in stock.

All of this nightmare and headache just because I wanted to have a stove that wasn’t a potential safety hazard.

I am grateful that I have a working, if questionable stove. I’m grateful that the new retailer had this in stock so I wasn’t pushed back another couple of months waiting for an order. I’m trying like hell not to be a massive grouch and I’m really proud of myself for not absolutely breaking down in a fit of rage after the never ending errors of this disaster.

I’m also so damn ready to be done. If my frickin’ dishwasher decides to finally go belly up right now, I just might figure out how to make if fly. Right after I have a mental breakdown from all the stress.



Never A Moment

You’d think I’d have learned by now. Things never really slow down around here.

I’d really thought I’d have at least a week of uninterrupted time to work on my room this week. I stupidly forgot to look at my calendar, which was packed full of things I had to do, mostly shifting into back to school mode and all the things that entails.

Between Dr. appointments for required vaccines for BG (yes! Shock of all shocks! Schools can and DO require your child be vaccinated for things!), yearbook photo appointments, and BG’s summer dance workshop (not so much my thing, but I have to work around it to some extent because she isn’t home) I’ve hardly had a day this week where I didn’t have a full day to get things done.

So far, MC and MCG haven’t had anything yet, but theirs is coming. MCG has some sort of training that she has to go through as part of her scholarship program and MC will have his own back to school stuff to do. I doubt I’ll be needed for those, but… I’m not taking any bets on that.

Even with the busy, I have still managed to get a lot of work in. I now have all the crown molding and base trim on my cabinets. There will be some final trim along the walls that needs to get done, but that will be it for cabinet trim.

I should be able to get my peg board installed today around my jewelry bench area. That is the last piece that needs to be done before I can trim out the counters. With that counter top trim, I’ll be down to just finishing the doors and drawers, though I’m probably forgetting something obvious in that list.

Slowly but surely I’m chipping away at my to do list and getting closer to completion. I’d like to say that when I do finish I can finally sit down and enjoy for a while, but that probably isn’t going to happen. I already have a “must complete” project I have to dive into right away. I might even have to stop and work on that if everything else takes much longer because I need to get it done before BG has to start back to school.

My never ending project list is, well, never ending. *sigh*

Craft Room Project: Shelves Are Done!

This was another big piece that needed to get done that’s finally completed. Of course, it had to be a challenge, because that is the ONLY way this project can go.

I’d forgotten about the bowed back wall. Or, more accurately, didn’t consider that what made my counter tops difficult to fit would also impact shelves that need to be installed on that same wall. It ended up making those corner shelves a massive pain in my butt to put in. It took several hours yesterday to just work out how to get that bottom one to work and it forced me to rethink my upper shelves.

I’d planned for 3 in that corner, but after getting the bottom one in, I knew I wasn’t going to be happy with that many. I’d also wanted the upper shelves to not be boxed in on the outer edges like the bottom one is. I’d done that design on the bottom to keep the look flowing from the cabinets and to give me room to add a few more of the under cabinet puck lights to keep that corner bright. The way I had to tweak things to even get the shelf supported wouldn’t really allow for a more open upper shelf.

I’m still not thrilled with what I worked out for that upper shelf. I won’t be able to put anything too heavy up there as it isn’t quite a stable as I’d like. Considering I’d only planned on putting lighter things like photos on it, it might be okay long term, but I might have to make some adjustments at some point.

The narrow shelves that went between the tall back wall cabinet and the corner cabinet were a breeze to put up and came out great. Because of how that will be used, the 3 shelves worked there where they wouldn’t with my corner shelves.

It is a huge relief to get this part done. It is one of the last big construction pieces left in my room. I still have a few doors and my drawers to build, but those are all a very different kind of thing and more minor in comparison. They will also most likely be the last thing I tackle.

Up next: Crown, base, and finish trim!